Are we there yet? LockRattler 4.1b4 is the first final candidate

Thanks to your feedback on previous beta releases, I hope that LockRattler version 4.1b4 is good enough to go final.


Changes in this release include:

  • There are now three different options in checking for updates. The first simply runs a background check for security and critical system software updates, installing any that are available, but not going near more general updates. The second merely lists available updates and doesn’t download or install any of them. The third downloads and installs all available updates, including security and critical updates.
  • Those checks should work for El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra. To do this, the three different versions map to five different commands, selected on the basis of which button you click on, and which version of macOS is running. My initial idea of one button and one command was clearly flawed!
  • I have added Tooltips where appropriate.
  • The Help book and documentation are fully updated to reflect all the changes made in 4.1, so far, at least.

A little explanation about installing updates

The third button, which downloads and installs all available updates, will result in the app showing a spinning beachball cursor/pointer until all those updates have been installed.

Spinning beachballs do not mean that the app has crashed or frozen, or is even slightly distressed.

There are two ways that LockRattler can handle this: it can wait until the command completes, as it does at present, which means showing the spinning beachball, or it can leave the command to run in the background.

Most apps, faced with prolonged tasks, put the task in the background and let you carry on using the app while that task completes. In this case, that could only cause confusion. There is nothing else that you can usefully do in LockRattler until the command completes: for example, if you were to save the results into a text file, no reference would be made to any updates which were in progress. So that record would be out of date the moment the command completed.

Indeed, it the app were to hand control back to you, you might get bored with waiting and try to quit the app, which should also terminate any updates, possibly in the middle of a download or installation. Because the command doesn’t return any information to LockRattler until it completes, the app has no way of knowing that, so cannot even warn you.

So I think that the spinning beachball is actually the better solution. At least now you can discover whether there are large updates waiting before running that command, or opt to run a background update of only security and critical updates, if you prefer.

This new version is here: lockrattler414
and in Downloads above.

I particularly welcome comments from anyone who is able to test these features in El Capitan, please, which I am unable to do.